Tag Archives: writing challenge

We Never Leave Home

Another Friday. Another Five Minutes to write. Another topic.


We all need it. We all crave it. We all spend a lifetime looking for it.

Maybe it’s a house. Or an apartment. Or a webpage. Or a shopping cart. Or a fort cobbled together with plywood and packing tape. Or a fuzzy blanket, worn out in all the right spots.

We call it home, because it is ours. It feels safe and comfortable. It is relief when everything spins out of control. Whether it was a gift or a hard-fought victory, we have carved a place out of the world where we belong.

And somewhere along the way it becomes less about where we are, or who we’re with, or what we have. It becomes a part of us. One day when it is long gone and strangers have moved in and time has eaten away the threads of it, it remains as real to us as ever.

I am the big, blue house on the corner. I am bowls of ice cream with Dad. I am stirring the gravy while Mom zips around the kitchen. I am a red swing set and crabapple trees and little sisters tagging along after me.

I am the third unit in Student Family Housing. I am a fifth generation ratty old couch with a green sheet overtop. I am goofing around in the tiny kitchen, making orange sauce and noodles because we can’t afford meat.

I am ducking to get into the bathroom in a tiny basement suite in Guelph. I am the mural of a park in my daughter’s first room. I am picking blackberries over the fence. I am counting the 14 stairs up to the living room with my son.

I am so many places and people and things which make me feel safe and comfortable and loved.

Because we never really leave home. We carry it with us. Always.


So here’s me, craving ice cream with my Dad and orange sauce with noodles. I don’t think I appreciated them as much as I should, at the time.

Recipe for Orange Sauce:

2/3 Cup of Ketchup

2/3 Cup of Water

3 Tbsp of Brown Sugar

Dash of Lemon juice

Boil until sauce thickens and serve with noodles or rice

(and pork chops, if you can afford it).


Join Lisa-Jo for a 5 Minute Writing Challenge: set your timer, clear your head, for five minutes of free writing without worrying about getting it right.

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

A Mom, a Preschooler and a Toddler Walk into a Restaurant…

Hmph. Stiff neck. Eye roll. Snort of disdain. Overly loud comment about “SOME people’s kids.”

I see you. I know you’re talking about me and mine. I’m not the negligent, lazy mom who simply tunes it all out. I’m busting my butt to keep things socially appropriate. At least some of you have the grace to look ashamed when you realize one of my daughters has Down syndrome. But that’s beside the point.

Not one of you sprang into existence as fully formed adults. I have no doubt that your beginnings involved just as much snot and noise and dirty diapers as any of my kids. You were no less human then. You had just as much right to exist in this world.

Airplanes, restaurants, waiting rooms, museums, stores… I’ve felt your irritated glares in all these places. And I used to feel badly, shush more loudly, work harder to contain and dance faster to avoid stepping on your toes. But I’m sick of it. This is life – my children and I deserve to be part of it too.

We’re here. We’re loud (though we’re learning to use our inside voices). And we’re not going anywhere. Deal with it.

Someday you are going to be grumpy without your nap. Someday you will speak overly loudly and inappropriately. Someday you will gum your food and spill half of it on the way to your mouth. Someday you won’t quite make it to the bathroom.

Your lack of patience and understanding just might bite you in the ass when that someday inevitably comes. Ageism isn’t so appealing when the shoe’s on the other foot.

Why should the same children you barely tolerate now put themselves out for you? Why not stash you where you don’t offend the eyes or the senses with your inconvenient humanity? After all, who wants to be bothered with messy and smelly and troublesome? Why not simply hire a caregiver to keep you out of sight and out of mind for the rest of your days?

Karma’s a bitch, people.

So here’s me, and in my circles we call this “reaping what you sow.” Just sayin’.

This is my contribution to the Daily Press writing challenge. Answering the question: How do you feel about children in adult-oriented places?

Assuming we’re not talking about bars, R-rated movies or adult-only resorts, my vote in the poll was: “Kids are people too. They should be welcome where adults are.” What do you think?

Once Upon A Time At Our House

I can feel the sun, warm at my back as I push through that final kilometer. My muscles are pleasantly loose. I’m invigorated by my early morning 10K.

Body and soul in perfect unison. The half hour I spent praying in the quiet of my beloved garden, while the sun inched its way up the horizon, has worked it’s magic. This is why I never miss a sunrise.

I sneak into the girl’s bedroom hoping to wake them myself, but they are already up, as usual. L is helping her little sister study for her french quiz while making her bed. C’s voice still sounds a little scratchy, so I suggest she stay home and take it easy. But she can’t be convinced, she’s committed to her school work and hates to miss a day.

After a long, hot shower I lean my ear against the door of the little ones. Not a peep. They are deep sleepers, and rarely stir before breakfast.

I pull out the loaf of bread I made from scratch yesterday. We’ve tried bread machines, but they just aren’t the same. The yeasty smell always puts a smile on my face. Free range eggs, whole grain toast and organic fruit salad are plated and ready to serve when Daddy carries the sleepy-heads to the table.

Our leisurely family breakfasts are always full of laughter and emotional connection. Together, we pray about our worries and hopes for the day, especially for the struggles of those less fortunate than us. I am humbled by the selflessness and empathy my children display.

The ticking of the clock seems louder and we realize it is time to head out the door. I’m so grateful that Glen has time to get the children ready for school each morning. They eagerly scramble into the clothes I carefully chose for them the night before. B is excited to be in panties “like a big girl.” The boy entertains himself quietly while we gather our school supplies. We get hung up making lunches; there are so many choices and they love them all. But this becomes a teachable moment about nutrition and wise decision making.

The kids groan in complaint as I lay a steamy kiss on their Dad. We’re running ahead of schedule again and he’s in no hurry to leave. When I turn around, my offspring are all buckled in to their seats and waiting in the van. We sing silly songs all the way to school.

The best part of the day so far is still to come: the hug and kiss I get from each one before they dance off to their class. “I love you Mom. You do so much for us and I’m going to miss you all day long.”

No wonder I’m a morning person.

Ha ha ha ha ha!

The Weekly Writing Challenge at Word Press this week is:

Try a different genre of writing

This is mine:


My true story bears no resemblance to this one, at all.

Except for the part where I woke up before dawn. That happened.

In the true story my day started at 3:30 with a wet-through-her-diaper bed change, then again at 6:00 with a poop-tastrophe. A husband away on business. A sick and crying toddler. A headstrong 8-year-old who refuses to wear socks (panties – don’t even get me started). An eldest daughter who leaves everything to the last minute and forgot to take out her contacts last night. A girl-who-has-too-often-cried-wolf insisting she’s really sick this time. And a Mom who made her go to school anyway, but got called back to pick her up after 1 hour.

But it also includes: the smell of freshly washed hair, footie jammies, a boy who just wants his Mom to hold him and no one else (as a new adoptive parent this is all kinds of awesome), a joke about cats partying which I didn’t understand, but made B laugh and laugh and laugh, a once reluctant reader who is happily ensconced in her bed devouring her 5th Percy Jackson novel right now, a big sister who asked “what can I do to help Mom?” without being prompted AND a man whom I love more than life who is coming HOME tonight!

Oh, and since everyone is in bed and it is quiet right now. A nap!

So here’s me, and life is good, even here in reality.

%d bloggers like this: